It's usually when I'm washing dishes or trying out a new recipe or putting away the seventh load of laundry that I feel it. Gratitude mixed in with a healthy helping of joy. That stirring in my heart of how wonderful life feels in that moment. Which is maybe somewhat odd because I think of many other things more fulfilling (and fun) than dishes or laundry.
My Friday morning snapshot of fingers and toes, coupons, laundry and July's summer morning light pouring in through the windows captures joy and life - and the mess too. I've been purposing to notice the sweetness in the midst of chaos and the parts of my life that just need getting done.
Even in the work, the never-ending chores, the baby who keeps barfing all over my cute tops, I feel this joy underneath it all. It's like a deep, warm harmony to a lovely song I can't stop singing.
Life has felt complicated and full. And I'm overwhelmed, emotional, torn, confused. I've complained about my kids and my work and my schedule and our bills. My lack of me-time and girls nights and real, grown-up adult conversations. But even with all my complaints, I notice and see. The eucharisteo. Pieces and fragments of moments that make up the life I've been given and set free to live.
Chasing my four year old around in the house. Enjoying precious moments of Jacob's laughter. Feeling Todd's soft kisses on my neck while I'm making dinner. That feeling of rest that comes when everything is done, put away, and ready for the next week ahead. Watching Todd play with Tommy when I know he would rather spend his Sunday afternoon napping.
I've been learning that not everything in life is always going to feel all good all of the time. That it's okay if there are pieces of it that are messy or disappointing or just plain rotten. I can feel the bad parts and move forward. I guess I've been trudging through the rough spots and purposing to revel in the good. Saying no to things and no to people even at the risk of disappointing someone. Saying yes to more quiet, more family time, more of Him.
This face - the one solely responsible for spit-up stains on my clothes...there is much to delight in. I love that he smiles even with his eyes. The fullness he brings to our lives, our home and hearts.
But after all of that, in all of that, before all of that - there's an overflowing abundance of joy.